In yet another legal case of "You Could Have Mentioned This Before," Stan Lee Media Inc. is suing to reclaim the rights to the character of Conan the Barbarian, and to receive all profits from the recently-released movie. They claim that the transfer of the property rights to the Swedish company Paradox Entertainment, which has been developing the Conan brand for ten years now in videogames, comic books and action figures, is null and void because they were sold while Stan Lee Media Inc. was protected by bankruptcy regulations.
As is the case for many lawsuits against significant movies, this news comes not during pre-production, or even during the ten years in which Paradox Entertainment was actively working on Conan projects outside of the film industry, but as the film enters theaters. We're no lawyers, but we're pretty sure this is the legal definition of "a dick move." On the upside, since Conan the Barbarian completely tanked at the box office - a $10 million opening weekend for a film budgeted at up to $90 million - it seems unlikely that Stan Lee Media Inc. will profit from this suit even if it doesn't settle out of court (which, let's be honest, it probably will).
Hollywood Reporter covered the lawsuit in more detail, and reminds us that Stan Lee Media Inc. is also suing both Marvel Entertainment and, ironically, Stan Lee for the rights to such prominent characters as Spider-Man, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and many of the other major characters in the mighty Marvel pantheon.
CRAVE Online will be back with more Conan the Barbarian lawsuit news. Heads are going to roll on this one, what with being chopped off and all...